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Aric Toler

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Latest posts by Aric Toler

Russian Activists Dox Prison Official Who Allegedly Ordered Torture of Inmates

RuNet Echo talks to a Russian activist about his campaign to make public the private life of a prison official accused of ordering torture against inmates.

You've Read Our Open-Source Research Guidebook. Now Let's Use It.

This ninth and final entry takes the tools and instructions we've been studying and applies them to a single case study: last year's wildfires in the Siberian city of Chita.

Ukrainian Activists Leak Personal Information of Thousands of War Reporters in the Donbas

The international journalist community reacted with consternation and anger to a leaked database of reporters accredited with the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" published by Ukrainian activists.

How to Learn More About the Big Wigs and Public Officials in Russia and Ukraine

There are numerous free and open information portals and databases available for researching individuals in Ukraine and Russia, whether you are investigating a public figure or a private individual.

How to Comb Russia's TV News

This guide explains how to evaluate Russian TV news sources and navigate television networks' online video archives, in order to compare coverage of specific events.

Triangulating Sources to Thin the Fog of War

Even with the flood of information created and made accessible by the Internet, the fog of war is still thick. But it's not impenetrable.

Herein Lie the Secrets of Geolocation

This guide will provide instruction on using satellite images, with a focus on historical imagery, and available street-level imagery accessible for Russian and Ukrainian cities.

Unearthing Local Stories on the Russian-Language Internet

While a lot of open-source research on the RuNet is possible thanks to broad Internet searches, sometimes it’s best to drill down to the narrowest sources available.

Want to Research the Russian Internet But Don't Speak Russian? We Can Help.

Conducting open-source research is especially challenging when you don't speak the language of your research topic. Thanks to the Internet, however, even these obstacles don't make it impossible.

What You Need to Know About Russian Social Networks to Conduct Open-Source Research

Outside of the familiar English-language social networks of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and others, there is a handful of social media platforms used either exclusively or primarily in the post-Soviet world.

So You Want to Conduct Open-Source Research

These general instructions address specific ways to assess the reliability of photographs, videos, and human sources, with a special focus on the Russian Internet.

The Murky Ethics of Publishing Data on Russian Servicemen ‘Bombing Syria’

Ukrainian "civic investigation" project Mirotvorets, previously preoccupied with exposing the Russian military presence in eastern Ukraine, has published personal data of Russian servicemen allegedly engaged in airstrikes in Syria.

New Leak Details Kremlin’s Plans For a Russian ‘National Internet’

The leak by Anonymous International reveals plans for the concept of a “national information platform” in Russia, which effectively describes the creation of an alternative Russian Internet.

Russia Hacks the Military Again (Its Own)

Russian hackers Anonymous International are shaming the country's Defense Ministry for poor information security practices by leaking sensitive documents that were allegedly sent via free email services.

Internet Spots Luhansk Militants′ ‘Battlefield 3’ Fakes

Pro-Russian militants claimed they found a cache of "American weapons" at the Luhansk airport but social media users quickly discovered that the evidence was a video game-inspired fake.

The Man Who Supported Ostriches and Other Viral Adventures of Viktor Yanukovych

Did Viktor Yanukovych really just happen to live in a private zoo owned by someone else? And what's the deal with those ostriches? Social media users explain.

Dying in Secret: The Ethics of Investigating Russia's Ukraine Casualties

A new type of investigative journalism by bloggers is blurring the lines between armchair Internet sleuthing and hard-hitting investigative reporting to uncover information about Russia's role in the Ukraine conflict.

Leaked Emails Reveal What Vladimir Putin Tells World Leaders at Private Meals

The leaked emails can be sorted into three types of reports: menu options for meetings, summaries of the catering services, and—most interestingly—outlines of Putin's conversations with his guests.

Chernobyl Is Burning, But Who's to Blame?

As first responders fought the wildfire near the Chernobyl exclusion zone in Ukraine, panic and the conspiracy theories bloomed fast on social networks.

Russian Siberia, Five Years Later: Still Neglected, Still Burning

RuNet Echo looks at Russian Internet users' responses to the 2010 and 2015 wildfires, comparing what's stayed the same and what's changed.

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